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9th February 2007

TP's Newsround
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What's new in classic motorcycling this month? Well how about vintage sprinting, any T-shirt you can think of, riding end-to-end in 24 hours, breather kits for Royal Enfields, some squirty stuff in yellow bottles, and the world's most unlikely press release about an Ariel Arrow and a Tyrannosaurus-Rex...

Norman Conquest?

We know of quite a few RC readers who plan to ride the length of the UK for charity this year, and now RC Clubman Norman Pyne has confirmed a date for his sponsored ride this Spring. All being well, Norman will set off on his 650 Triumph on April 4th. He's aiming to travel from Land's End to John O'Groats in 24 hours (that's bold going, Norman!), to raise funds for the Niemann-Pick support group. Norman's daughter, Annie, suffers from Niemann-Pick disease and he's hoping to repay some of the support which the group has given him.

Norman will be joined on the ride by several friends, one of whom is a paramedic; 'so he's been put in charge of ointment!' says Norman. If the weather forecast for the 4th is completely dire then the team will revise plans and wait until April 11th.


See for more information about Norman's ride and to sponsor him; or send an SAE to NiemannPickGroupUK, 11 Greenwood Close, The Pastures, Fatfield, Washington, NE38 8LR for a sponsorship form.

If the sun is shining then you might even see a member or two of the RC Crew in Cornwall, Norman!


Got the bike? Get the shirt!

If you own an unusual classic motorcycle, then you won't find many ready-made items of memorabilia dedicated to your P&J. No problem, says Greg at ClassicBikeShirts. Their range covers an almighty melange of motorcycling history, from Ariel to Zenith and including Ariel, BSA, Calthorpe, Rudge, Panther, Greeves, AJS, Matchless, Norton, Triumph, Velocette and Vincent. They'll print a one-off logo for your bike, even if it is so rare you might be the only customer (and there is no extra charge for this service).

ClassicBikeShirts don't just do T-shirts, but also sweatshirts, polo shirts, ladies' and gents' long and short-sleeve T-shirts for all British classic bikes - and they offer many different logos and styles for the most popular models and marques. They aim to be able to supply a T-shirt for any classic bike made before 1980, print on top quality garments so that prints can be hot washed and ironed without any problems.

Club and rally orders are always welcome, with special discounts - and no order is too small.

See or email:


Bung a BUNN on your Bullet

The UK distributor of BUNN breathers has got in touch to let us know what a warm reception the kits have received Down under. Apparently, 'the Australian distributors for Royal Enfield have tested the BUNN Breather Kit for use on Royal Enfield Classic and Electra motorcycles with very positive results. They say that "The BUNN Breather Kit for the Royal Enfield …(is)… the fix for crankcase breathing systems, blocking with emulsified oil, reduces engine wear, lifts performance…"'

All that - but you'll still have to boil your own kettle cos it doesn't quite make the tea!

So what exactly is it, then? The BUNN Breather Kit is an innovative new engine breathing system for motorcycles which suits 4-stroke singles, twins or multi-cylinder engines. A special version of the kit was developed by BUNN in conjunction with Royal Enfield Australia, and it was then road-tested in Sydney and Melbourne on Royal Enfield Classic and Electra models. It claims to overcome the problems with these models, where emulsified oil and blow-by clog up the standard factory breather tubes and canister.


The BUNN Breather is easy to install using the existing breather unions and is rumoured to have 'other beneficial effects on classic bike performance'. It also suits earlier Indian and British Bullets, as well as other British bikes. In the UK and Europe the BUNN Breather kit is marketed through Panther Publishing Ltd ( and is priced at £29.50 including delivery.


Ariels Saved from Extinction?

'What do the Ariel Arrow and Leader have in common with Jurassic Park?' asked Debbie and Andy Perkins of Pazon Ignitions. OK. We'll bite. Are you sitting comfortably? Then Andy will begin…

'Remember the scene in the movie Jurassic Park, where the scientist takes the embryo of the dinosaur, and creates a park full of dinosaurs? And suddenly from nowhere, these dinosaurs roar back to life.


'To compare the Ariel Arrow/Leader to a T-Rex would be a bit much, but it would be a shame if these old classics went the same way as the T-Rex, with no prospect of resurrection. The Ariel is unusual looking and was the commuter bike of its day, and many fine examples are still on the road today, but they cough and splutter a lot.

'That's because the inadequate twin points ignition system has always been very difficult to set up, and the older the bike gets the more difficult it becomes. Trying to get both sets of points adjusted is practically impossible; you could even say it's a nightmare. The best you can hope for is a compromise, resulting in poor starting and rough running, coughing and spluttering down the road. So the Ariel keeps coughing and spluttering its way to extinction!

'It's not the easiest bike in the world to produce an electronic ignition system for. It's the trigger side that's the problem - nobody could be bothered to make anything specifically for them, so the bikes kept on coughing and spluttering.

You could of course adapt another system to fit, but it's basically a bodge job, and to be honest never really worked 100%. Having to adapt the metalwork and trigger side of the system is quite an engineering job to make it all fit. And nine times out of ten you can't get the points cover back on, so these parts are open to the elements. So, the reliability you were hoping for with electronic ignition proves to be short-lived.

'Wouldn't it be great if the Ariel could be brought back to life, just like in Jurassic Park?

Ariel Stuff on

'It's finally been done. A system has been produced by Pazon specifically for the Arrow and Leader. We've made the metalwork and trigger parts so that everything fits absolutely spot on. They sit where the points go and - yes! -- you can get the points cover back on. Once fitted, the bike looks original. With this new system both plugs spark at the same time, so timing is a breeze. Set the ignition timing on one cylinder and the system takes care of the other. It doesn't even matter which cylinder you use!

'The precision-machined rotor in the kit gives accurate 180° firing, and setting the static timing is simple with the built in timing light on the trigger. Once fitted and timed it will never go out of adjustment and there's nothing to wear out either. That's it - job done.

'So the Ariel has been brought back to life, just like T-Rex in Jurassic Park.'

Aw. Isn't that just peachy? If you'd like to bring an old bike back to life, then you can see more about Pazon at



Starfire Search

Steven Forster is looking for his dad's old BSA Starfire, registration either TDC 360 or TDC 380. Anyone recognise it? If so, email or drop a line to Steven at 26 Hawthorne Terrace, Shotton Colliery DH6 2HG


Northern Race Fans Get Ready For Action

The Yorkshire based Auto 66 Club have confirmed their dates for 2007 and promise all sorts of action throughout the season - with plenty for classic riders to see and do. The club's 'Jewel in the Crown' will again be the International Gold Cup Road Races, which takes place on England's only public road track at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough. This will be the 57th year of the event and takes place on Saturday / Sunday September 15th & 16th.

Meanwhile, Scarborough International BikeWeek has moved into June and kicks off on the weekend of June 23rd/24th with the Barry Sheene Classic Road Race Festival. At the end of Sunday's racing everyone will be able to join in the Sheene Run, which will wind its way from Oliver's Mount down to the Scarborough Foreshore and across the Marine Drive before returning to the Mount. Activities during BikeWeek include the ACU/BMF National Road Rally; a number of Breakfast Runs; Hill Climbs on June 26th, 27th and 28th - and meanwhile the Vintage Motor Cycle Club will be holding seven days of road rallies and concours competitions with VMCC HQ at Oliver's Mount for the week. The Cock o' the North National Road Races will round off the week of activities on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July.

The Oliver's Mount season starts with the Scarborough Festival of Speed on May Bank Holiday, 5th & 6th May, with the Ian Watson Spring Cup Motorcycle Road Races on Monday 7th.

The Club also caters for Sprint and Hill Climb enthusiasts with the 11 round Yorkshire Speed Hill Climb and Sprint Championship. This championship is open to all machines from vintage to modern superbikes. Venues include Elvington Park, Dalby, Oliver's Mount and Cadwell.

Regulations and entry forms for the full season are now available from


Squirty Stuff in Yellow Bottles

Scottoiler's FS365 is an environmentally friendly and bio-degradable spray designed to cling to the exposed bits of your motorcycle and prevent corrosion caused by road salt and other winter nastiness.

According to Scottoiler boss and high-mileage year-round motorcyclist Fraser Scott, it's a blend of mineral oil, surfactant, anti-corrosion additives and water which forms a stable micro-solution that can only be separated by evaporation. Or for those of use who fluffed o-level chemistry, it's stuff you squirt on your bike to stop it getting knackered in winter. It's water-soluble so you'll need to reapply it after particularly wet rides, but a 1 litre bottle will last all season.

And it works. It's less messy than spraying everything with WD40 or ACF50 and easier to clean off at the end of the gritting season. Definitely recommended. You can order it online from the Scottoiler website for £6.98 for a 1 litre bottle.

Scottoiler have also just brought out a cleaning and degreasing spray, FST52. We haven't had the chance to test this yet, but if it's as good as FS365 it'll be well worth having on the shed shelf. It's £6.98 for a 500ml bottle, also from the Scottoiler website.


So that's FS365 for every day protection, FST52 for weekly cleaning duties… It's surely only a matter of time before they bring out FSB12 shampoo and conditioner for use on our monthly bath night.



More Ariels on


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